Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Some Days....

Some days....are so  hot nothing can improve your mood.

Some just have to have crushed ice and lemonade; all day.

Some have to admit you can't do everything; call it a day and move on.

Some have to realized you can't change the weather and you can't work with it either.

Some days...are filled with frustrations you can't seem to let go of.

Some days...I just have to close the gate to my little homestead, park myself on the old green bench, and just be.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Creative in the Kitchen

the makings of a great lunch
   It was all too quite around the house yesterday; the girls' college classes started. With only the farm boy here to teach I felt rather lost and unneeded. After a whole morning of driving him nuts (he is rather independent in his study) I decided to concoct a great lunch for the two of us; but I wasn't being very successful.
   With most of the fridge now on the counter, my farm boy decided to spare me continued frustration and lend his poor mom a hand. In minutes he had pita bread and roast set aside with a set of veggies perfect to complement the idea. Let me note he had me put the rest of the refrigerator contents back :) while he pondered the perfect 'pull it all together' component.
   Canning jar in hand, he gathered this and that (as I made skeptical faces at him) for his 'final touch'. Before I knew what hit me I was sitting at the table tasting some seriously yummy good pita-roast-salad-which with the perfect 'cajun-mayo-lime sauce' dripping out the sides. Man, that boy can cook! The spicy tang of the sauce gave a zip to the crunchy salad while the garlic flavored roast added just the right bite; whole grain pita was just the right vehicle to hold it all together- yummy!

Farm boy's Spicy Mayo Sauce

1/4 cup mayo
1 heaping teaspoon cajun seasonings
juice of 1/2 a lime
10 drops Tabasco sauce

Stir it up and you're ready to go! Letting it chill in the fridge a while really enhanced the flavors.

   Just to be more creative...later that evening he added a drizzle of olive oil (to thin it just enough) creating a zippy dressing for our salad..again..yummy! Who knew a farm boy could be so creative in the kitchen?

   Our lunch was sweet..special..a nice quiet time just between the two of us. I sat there reveling in the thought of such healthy choices made by my young mature it seemed sitting there by me having made such a nice lunch. As he crumpled up his napkin I asked So how was it? Did it hit the spot? His reply yep, need to finish it off with a bowl of chocolate pudding. *sigh* What can I say----hey, wait a minute....who made chocolate pudding?

Monday, August 29, 2011

Cute Little Clutches

   Stepping away from the quilt table for a day and stepping into a quick project; today I am whipping together some cute little clutches. With teen girls in the house, you always need a little zippered tote for this or that. Sweet and discrete, this project can easily fit into a gym bag, purse, or backpack.

   A quick rummage through the remnant bin and a raffle through the sewing notions started the creative flurry. My girls are very different girls with very different styles and tastes, therefore, very different fabrics were needed to give them just the right clutch.

   Using the zipper length as my guide, each clutch is the width of the zipper and the length of it minus 1 1/2 inches. For example, if the zipper is 7" the fabric rectangles are each 7x5 1/2". The rectangles are stitched to the zipper (right sides up) then stitched together (right sides together). Once turned inside out- viola! Clutch!
   My girls came home from work to a table full of little zipper clutches- various sizes and colors- and absolutely loved them. Each girl chose two for their own and put them right to use!

   If you would like to make some cute little clutches all your own, check out Our basic idea for these clutches came from her book Bend the Rules Sewing (borrowed from our local library). Happy stitching! 

Sunday, August 28, 2011

It Is Sunday....


"Lord, teach us to pray."
Luke 11:1

It is not part of the life of a natural man to pray. We hear it said that a man will suffer in his life if he does not pray; I question it. What will suffer is the life of the Son of God in him, which is nourished not by food, but prayer. When a man is born from above, the life of the Son of God is born in  him, and he can either starve that life or nourish it. Prayer is the way the life of God is nourished. Our ordinary views of prayer are not found in the New Testament, We look upon prayer as a means of getting things for ourselves; the Bible idea of prayer is that we may get to know God Himself.
"Ask and ye shall receive." We grouse before God, we are apologetic or apathetic, but we ask very few things. Yet what a splendid audacity a childlike child has! Our Lord says- "Except ye become as little children." Ask, and God will do. Give Jesus Christ a chance, give Him elbow room, and no man will ever do this unless he is at his wits' end. When a man is at his wits' end it is not a cowardly thing to pray, it is the only way he can get into touch with Reality. Be yourself before God and present you problems, the things you know you have come to your wits' end over. As long as you are self-sufficient, you do not need to ask God for anything.
It is not so true that 'prayer changes things' as that prayer changes me and I change things. God has so constituted things that prayer on the basis of Redemption alters the way in which a man looks at things. Prayer is not a question of altering things externally, but of working wonders in a man's disposition.

My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Scaife Family Values: Stewardship

my daughter's rendition of a Tasha Tudor painting, given to me on my birthday

   Webster's Dictionary:  The individual’s responsibility to manage his life and property with proper regard to the rights of others.

Holman Bible Dictionary:  Utilizing and managing all resources  God provides for the glory of God and the betterment of His creation.
       Most of us who have spent any amount of time in church think of money/tithe when we hear the word 'stewardship'. That was my mindset many years ago, however, when I married my husband taught me a deeper clearer meaning of biblical stewardship.
   In our family the idea of stewardship encompasses our time, our talent, and our treasures... a broad spectrum including so many facets of our life. Our family's view of stewardship starts with the clear view : everything we have is given to us by God. With this in mind, it is my responsibility, as a steward of God's things, to use them to the best of my ability in a manner that pleases the Lord and gives Him glory. When it comes to teaching family values, it's never to early to start..and never to late to review.

*volunteer to help when the opportunity arises:
  ..older relatives, at a senior center, in assisted living
  ...with younger relatives, in a younger class, be a mentor to others
  ...with tasks/chores, at home, in church, in 4H, in your community
  ...when you don't want to...sometimes God is prompting us to step out a bit and do that which we are          uncomfortable with

*use it or lose it- God has given you abilities to use for His purposes
   ...can you babysit, adult sit, be a mommy's helper, you teach, sing, play music, are you artistic
   ...are you a prayer warrior, compassionate, a good listener
 *do you have more than you are using
   ...can you share from your garden, your pantry, your closet a missionary, a child in another country, an underground church or missionary
   ...take food to one in need, to a new mother, to an elderly friend

*gifts are meant to be shared, what are your treasures?
  ...are you willing to send a family member to the mission field
  ...can you let go of your husband to minister to prisoners, homeless, impoverished
  ...would you give your life, health, security for another for the glory of God

   Tough questions that ask our consideration...what are we willing to give up for His sake. In our family, we aim to look for the opportunity..evaluate it...pray on it...being willing is half the battle. We have learned by doing, by experiencing, by getting out there. Sheltering our family away from the hard realities of our world has never been part of the plan, but to consider their age and maturity..then open the door to opportunity.
   My husband and I believe in teaching and training, holding each other accountable to the important task of stewardship. It is never to late to start.

Friday, August 26, 2011

First Week Down!

   We have just completed our first official week back to class- whew! This year gives a few challenges we haven't had before- a duel credit student, a full time college student and two working girls. Right now we are planing our schedules on a week-by-week basis because that is just how it's going. Today it will be nice just to prop up our feet and take a breather before starting back up Monday.
   Hope all you back to school families enjoy a peaceful and restful weekend!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Back to the Prairie VI

   The Old Bicycle

   In an old metal silo, long since used only for storage, my summer companion sat waiting for me. Slipping into the small door wonder and amazement fill my being; such treasures from days gone by. A sled from winters past, rusty hand plows and watering cans..all waiting there..for what I do not know. Amongst the old worn out things stood my long time friend.
   The paint was worn and faded long before it became mine, but it was special to me: my pathway to freedom. In the summer sun I'd race along the gravel roads connecting my grandfather's pastures. Fields of grain whizzed past me as my feet flew over the pedals. Wisps of blond hair flew across my face- braided pig-tails flapped along behind me.
   Time stands still as I lift my face to the prairie sun; my eyes close while I breathe deep the fragrance of soil and earth, grain and gravel...the cattle nearby and the heat of a summer day. My ears tune to the familiar hum of a farm: the combine churning in the distance, a bull calling to the cows, traffic from the nearby highway... the peace of a moment were no one is calling my name. Freedom for a moment.
   In the late of day my companion and I ride to the fields to find the old farm truck. Grandpa must be needed an afternoon snack by now. We sit together in the shade of a lone tree... tailgate down, my legs dangle and swing while we share half a chilled melon and a jar of iced tea. His eyes twinkle as I rattle on telling the events of my day..weed pulling, my stint of mischief with the laundry on the line, how I let the water out of the far I rode my bike today without fear of getting lost. Silence settles between us as we share the still...comfort is here...just
   Lingering a bit long, my bike carries me swiftly back to the farmhouse; there are chores to do and dinner to start. Grandma is waiting, but not angry...she must remember being a girl..needing little bits of freedom.

   The old banana seat bike has long rusted over; lost among the old things tucked in the silo. Other cousins rode it, but no one loved it quite like was my freedom. If only such a simply thing as an afternoon bike ride could cleanse the cares of a day the way it did back then.